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March 25, 2005

Alicia Molik

MIAMI, FLORIDA, A. MOLIK/N. Pratt 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alicia Molik, please.

Q. Was your serve frustrating you?

ALICIA MOLIK: No, not at all. No, I thought I served good today.

Q. Last time most of us saw you, it was in the glare of the Australian Open, which was quite a glare for you. How has life been since then?

ALICIA MOLIK: It's been good. It's been, you know, kept myself on track. Not long after, I think two or three weeks after, I left for Europe. You know, obviously the summer was pretty taxing, but it wasn't a couple weeks till I was back overseas and I've had some great results since then. Obviously, I'm keeping and playing at a very high level. I'd like to think I'm still at that level now. It's definitely a breakthrough for me, but it's a matter of rising to the challenge.

Q. What was it like, did you take a couple of weeks off?

ALICIA MOLIK: No, I probably had a week off, that was more so because I was in bed with the flu. I was only home another week before I left for the indoors in Europe.

Q. When it all died down, what did you realize you had achieved in Australia?

ALICIA MOLIK: Oh, I think, you know, I realized probably the full extent of it probably not until after I left Australia. I had a chance for it all to sink in. Looking back on it, more so than my performances, I think I'm proud or pretty happy with the way I handled, obviously, the demand that was on me that entire month. It wasn't just the Australian Open, it wasn't just the two-week period but probably the month and month leading up as well. Obviously, the spotlight was on me a lot. Obviously, I dealt with all those extras apart from my tennis incredibly well, which allowed me to play good tennis all the time.

Q. Did you find it difficult or did it come natural?

ALICIA MOLIK: No, I think it did come natural. I'm one to very much focus on the job at hand. You know, when I am involved in a tournament I do like to lay low, I am pretty quiet, I don't -- I'm not often seen too much. I like to go about my business when I'm at work, basically. That doesn't change in Australia. That doesn't change when I'm here in Miami. I just keep that the same.

Q. How much did the humidity affect you, the long matches, the way it went on?

ALICIA MOLIK: No, I mean, I don't mind the humidity. I like the heat. I've grown up in the heat. I didn't find that it affected me one single bit. I enjoy the heat. I love playing in humid conditions. I love playing in dry heat. It helps me, it helps my game, it helps my serve and the ball sits up for me to hit it. So, yeah, in no way did it affect me, and it doesn't usually.

Q. There were questionable calls, the crowd, how much did that affect you? Were you blocking all of that out?

ALICIA MOLIK: I didn't question any calls, actually, with the umpire tonight.

Q. I'm saying you didn't question but the crowd was kind of vocal tonight questioning the calls.

ALICIA MOLIK: They get into it. They're there to watch, they're there to spectate. Obviously, they get into the match. It's not unusual that it happened tonight. It happens in every single match that I play. You get used to that and you just keep playing, get on with it.

Q. Do you feel part of the top level, top group now?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, absolutely. I'm not ranked where I am for no reason or because of a mystery. I've worked my way here, I've put in a lot of hard work. I feel like I'm very deserving because of my results. Yeah, I definitely feel I'm very deserving of my position right now.

Q. Is it a nice feeling?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, it is a nice feeling. It is a nice feeling when I step out against those girls ranked around where I am, both before me and after me. I know each and every person I walk on the court against I've got a shot at. It's a comforting feeling. I enjoy challenges but it's nice to know that I have the game and I have the weapons to, I guess, beat some of the best in the world. That is a nice feeling.

Q. Going into the match, Nicole was suggesting that she had a few different ideas on how to play you. Did you notice anything different following the last time you played her when you beat her?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, I felt like Nicole, she didn't make quite as many mistakes as last time but there's no doubt she stepped up, I guess, on her front foot and tried to play me a little bit more aggressively from her side. You know, she tried to attack a few returns a little bit earlier. Basically, I felt like she was trying to be a little bit more aggressive than last time, so try and give me a little less time. Yeah, I did notice a few different things that she was trying to do out there.

Q. What about your next match against Dulco?

ALICIA MOLIK: Gisela, she likes to play from the back of the court. So I will not change, you know, what I'm going to do. I'm still going to use my serve, my kick serve a hell of a lot and try to get into the net a bit. I'm going to play my style, my aggressive tennis. So I think we've only played -- I don't even know if we've played before. But, again, against the style of play that Gisela plays, I think it's very important that I move up in the court, I stay aggressive and I keep going after my shots.

Q. You've always been an aggressive player, but has your game matured or changed at all after what you achieved in Melbourne? Is it just more self-belief in it?

ALICIA MOLIK: Yeah, more self-belief. And now I'm, you know, I'm not always satisfied - even tonight. I was constantly thinking about things, working on things that I felt I could have improved out there. My game is a lot more aggressive, but I think on the whole, and the reason why I am a better player now, is I'm aggressive more often. I play every match more so the same, whereas before I probably didn't sustain that as much. My game is a lot about -- mostly about execution. So, you know, at the end of the day, the more I go for shots, the more I go for winners, the more likely it is that I'll pull them off, that I'll execute. So, you know, my game is very much about, you know, putting balls away, hitting a lot of winners, serving big serves. So I just have to keep going out day after day and doing that, and I think more often than not I can win matches playing that way, I feel that way.

End of FastScripts….

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